Book Review of Sprout
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The Children’s Book Review
Written by Richard P. Gleason
Illustrated by Taylor Suzenski
Ages 6-10 | 100 Pages
Publisher: Bird with Fry Corp | ISBN-13: 9781737183006
What to Expect: Knowledge, reading, writing, growing up, adventure
When Sprout’s father presents him with a beautifully bound book as a birthday present, he is delighted—he loves books! However, when he discovers the book is blank inside, he is puzzled. His father explains that this is his book, it’s to be the story of his life which he must write himself. Like the dutiful son he is, Sprout sets off to have some experiences to inspire his writing. From a Knight who doesn’t quite live up to his tall tales to a librarian who delivers more questions than answers and a Wizard who is both an owl and a forest, Sprout finds plenty to write in his book along the way, and—what is more important—wisdom.
Written like many of the Jack stories in traditional fairy tales, Sprout is an engaging adventure story about a boy who sets off into the world to find his fortune and himself. Like many traditional fairytales, there are parables and morals at every twist of the road for Sprout. Also, like classic fairy tales, to keep things interesting, there are dragons, knights, magic, witches, and heroines in distress.
Colorful digital illustrations lend a child-like quality to the story as the reader learns, through Sprout’s encounters, about the basic building blocks of stories and knowledge: adjectives, nouns, verbs, and even how to construct a sound argument. A study guide and glossary at the end of the book make this story a great choice for classroom reading.
Overall, Sprout is a fun and instructive fairytale adventure, perfect for readers wondering how to go about writing their own life stories.
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About the Author-Illustrator
The late children’s book author Richard P. Gleason was on a spiritual journey for most of his life, studying philosophy, backpacking around the world, and traveling to India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. This had a great influence on his writing and, particularly, his children’s literary middle-grade fiction fairy tale novel, Sprout, about a young boy’s search for the meaning of life.
A student of eastern philosophy and religion, Richard had a passion for adventure and learning, much like his book’s character. He majored in those concepts at American University where he continued his quest for the meaning of life. Having met the storied American novelist James Michener at his parents’ restaurant, Richard became inspired by the author’s style of writing and genre.
Richard attended the Hill School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, where he first thought about a future as a writer. Sprout was originally published by Winston-Derek Publishers in 1987 to respected literary recognition. Having made his home in Pennsylvania with his wife and two daughters, it was Richard’s hope that his intellectual and compassionate children’s novel would kindle the fire of knowledge within the minds of his young readers. His book was also used as a teaching tool to encourage philosophical thinking in the classroom.
After his untimely death and thirty-five years since its original publication, Richard’s family wished to revise and reissue a relaunch of Sprout as a celebration of a clever and witty-minded author, a loving and caring father, and a wise and inspiring uncle.
A portion of the proceeds from this book will be donated to Suicide Awareness.
For more information, visit https://www.thestoryofsprout.com/.
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